The new German Netflix release “For Jojo” revolves around two best friends, where one is encumbered by jealousy when the other decides to get married. Paula and Jojo have been inseparable since childhood. They now live together in Berlin and are content in their little bubble. Though life draws them apart when Jojo has to travel to Tulum, Mexico, to work as a tour operator. Paula knew how miserable her life would be without Jojo, and till the very last minute at the airport, she hoped for Jojo to stay back. At the airport, they noticed Daniel, someone they knew from the island they grew up on. Daniel and Jojo instantly bonded, and as luck would have it, he was traveling to Tulum as well. Paula detested the sudden friendship between the two, but it was way beyond her control now. She watched her best friend leave with Daniel, and she was gutted to see her go.
Paula is an eccentric woman who is driven by emotion to the point where she loses focus on her life to win her best friend back. Whereas Jojo hopes to experience life without having Paula validate her life choices. She desperately wants to be her own person, but she struggles to find her voice in Paula’s presence. “For Jojo” is about how they manage to deal with life, love, and the difficult process of having to let go.
‘For Jojo’ Plot Summary: What Is The German Film About?
Jojo had a good time at Tulum with Daniel; throughout the flight duration, they sat together and discussed life. Daniel was present whenever Paula video-called Jojo. She was often busy, or at times the network was weak, making Paula feel lonelier than ever. Paula lost her motivation to navigate through everyday life. She would often just grunt while lying almost lifeless, exhibiting the emptiness she felt without Jojo by her side. Apart from the emotional hollowness, she also had to deal with the practicality of life, for which she relied on Jojo. She was jobless and needed work to pay the rent now. She had tried her hand at several jobs, but she barely managed to stick to any for a long time. Upon reaching the job center for help, she was offered the position of a janitor at a bowling alley. Paula studied law for six years, but after failing her final exam, she gave up on her career. She took up the job at the bowling alley, though she desperately called Jojo whenever she felt low.
The fact that Jojo was not suffering the way she did made it all the more painful. She was enjoying her time in a different country, whereas Paula felt her existence was meaningless. She did not wish to share Jojo and their friendship with someone else, and since they stayed apart now, she doubted that she was losing her a little every day. But soon enough, she received a call from Jojo telling her that she was returning to Berlin. Paula was exhilarated, but she was also curious to know the reason behind her sudden change of decision, but Jojo chose to not disclose the reason. Paula was her usual animated self when she noticed Jojo at the airport, though her excitement died the moment she saw Daniel accompanying her. This was not what she was hoping for. Paula wondered if her best friend was pregnant, and maybe that was the reason why she had returned. Jojo dismissed her guess but refused to provide the actual reason. Paula could not take it any longer and stopped the car in the middle of the road, waiting for Jojo to answer her question. Even though Jojo did not wish to share the news immediately, she realized that it was impossible to keep the truth away from Paula. She replied that she was getting married. Paula was thrown off because she refused to accept that Jojo wanted to get married. She left Daniel and Jojo in the middle of the road and walked off.
Jojo knew that her best friend would have a tough time accepting the fact that she was getting married and would share her life with someone else. She intended on moving to the island with her future husband, and that shocked Paula. She could sense her best friend slipping away, and she couldn’t take it. Though she was not ready to give up yet, she announced that she would accompany the couple as well. And thus began Paula’s attempt to interfere in their relationship in some way or another.
What Happened On The Island?
Jojo and Paula had grown up on the island; therefore, they had memories attached to the place. Even though Paula felt uninvited into their house, she managed to take a corner of the room. Unable to fall asleep at dawn, she went into Jojo and Daniel’s room and slept next to her best friend. The next day, they went out together to a restaurant, and the couple thought of inviting Daniel’s friend, Janosch, to keep Paula company. Even though Paula was not too glad about it, she played along. At the restaurant, when Janosch asked what Paula did for a living, Jojo stated that she was jobless. This triggered Paula. She somehow could not accept how little her best friend thought of her or the fact that she portrayed her in a negative light. To seek revenge, Paula discussed Jojo’s flamboyant past. She stressed how they had spent their college life sleeping with several people as a part of a bet, and Jojo managed to win it. This embarrassed Jojo, and she was surprised that Paula brought it up in front of the man she was about to get married to. At the restaurant, they came across Daniel’s ex-girlfriend, who was stressed out after seeing him with another woman. When Jojo confronted Paula about her behavior, she brought up the topic of Daniel’s ex and how she felt they had something going on even then. Jojo was not ready to suspect her boyfriend, and she refused to indulge in the discussion. She asked Paula to leave their place. Paula wandered about the beach town and ended up sleeping at her brother’s place. He was studying at college and was taken by surprise by her sudden visit. Though he was happy to see her, they shared a light moment discussing their lives.
Near her brother’s campus, Paula noticed Daniel’s ex, Ellin, working at a store and went back to Jojo’s place. She peeked in and saw that they were having an argument, and she waited for them outside. She reasoned that she was there to get her things and noticed how Daniel and Paula shared a kiss right after their altercation. She wanted to know the reason for their argument, but Jojo stated that she would be getting married and Paula must focus on herself and what she would do after her marriage. Clueless about the future and refusing to accept that the marriage would materialize, she proposed that they go wedding dress shopping. She took Jojo to the store where she knew Ellin worked. After choosing the dress she wanted to try on, she noticed the woman. Jojo realized the reason behind Paula’s intention to take her shopping. She tried to undress hastily and ripped the side of the dress. Ellin noticed Paula keeping the dress back on the shelf and demanded they pay the price of the dress they had ruined. When Jojo went to pay, Ellin congratulated her and added that they were two inconsiderate people who fell in love.
Even though Paula pretended it to be a coincidence, Jojo knew her friend well enough to realize that it was all a pretense. She wanted Jojo to indulge and doubt her partner. She wanted her to ask Ellin about her relationship with Daniel, but Jojo wanted to stay away from the drama. She knew that Daniel and Ellin’s relationship might have ended on the wrong terms, but she refused to give in to doubtful thoughts that would affect her current relationship. Paula wanted to prove that Daniel was not the one for Jojo. She could never accept that there would be a wedding. When someone asked her the reason why she thought so, she simply stated that she knew it, with no specific reason for it.
‘For Jojo’ Ending Explained: Did Jojo Get Married Finally?
After Jojo refused to forgive her for what she had done, Paula started to spend time with Janosch. Janosch loved the island since it was his home, but Paula did not feel the same way. She stated that Jojo was her home. A very crucial statement to understand Paula’s overwhelming emotions. She could feel her home being torn down; she knew someone else was taking her place. She had to leave, but she could not. She knew no other place apart from home, apart from Jojo.
Jojo came to visit Paula at the campus. She wanted to discuss Ellin with her boyfriend, but there was a shift in his temperament, and he refused to talk about her. Jojo thought she would directly ask Ellin about her past, but she felt like she would cheat on her boyfriend if she took that step. Paula suggested they go to visit Jojo’s mother. Her mother had committed suicide as a result of a failed marriage, and they went there to pay respect. Paula reminded Jojo that her mother suffered in marriage and she should not be in the same position. Even though they argued, Jojo refused to accept that she was in the same position. She stated that relationships are complicated, and it is not easy to leave a person. The guy she met at the airport was not the same jolly man on the island, but she did not wish to give up on love. Disturbed by her best friend’s state of denial, she screamed her name into the vastness, mockingly implying that the Jojo she knew had passed away.
In a drunken state, Paula visited Ellin. She apologized for their behavior earlier. Ellin accepted it and added that she and Daniel were technically still together. The next thing we know, Paula takes Ellin to Daniel and Jojo’s house. They were having a house party, and she introduced Ellin as her guest. Jojo was surprised by the sudden turn of events, and so was Daniel, who now wanted to discuss matters with Jojo. Ellin stated that she was still in a relationship with Daniel, which he denied. Ellin continued talking about how he had not ended their relationship and had only stated that he needed space. While Daniel believed that was enough to end their relationship, Ellin thought that the fact that he continued to text during the time he was with Jojo said quite the opposite. Even when Daniel and Jojo were planning their marriage, he continued to write to Ellin. He explained that he cared about her and did not wish to hurt her. Jojo was furious, but Daniel believed she had no reason to be angry about the entire situation since it was not about her. In the end, Jojo leaves in her car, and Paula walks off. Paula threw dirt at Jojo’s car, which prompted her to get out of the car and push Paula into the ditch. They ultimately got into the car together. Paula tried to wipe off the tears from Jojo’s face. Paula explained how the man was not right for her and how she had saved her best friend from making a terrible decision. Jojo was disappointed with the way Paula unveiled the drama in front of everyone. She was so tired that she followed her wherever she went. She believed that Paula needed to let her live her life and make her mistakes. Jojo wanted Paula to have her own life, but she did not care much about it. They shared one last dance at the beach, but in the end, Paula seemed to be alone in the vast landscape. The screen goes black to reveal a second later that a wedding is taking place. Jojo and Daniel are getting married at the beach, and they are surrounded by their loved ones, apart from Paula.
The ending of “For Jojo” can be interpreted in different ways, but what can be strongly felt is the loneliness that Paula experiences at the end. She tried to protect her best friend, but if the wedding can be considered real and not a fragment of imagination, then it seems that Jojo stuck to her belief that she deserved to make her own decisions and mistakes in her life. And Paula did not feel the same way, so we didn’t see her in the wedding procession. The wedding can also be Jojo’s imagination of what could have been after leaving her relationship and choosing Paula. Though I felt that life forced them to go their separate ways eventually. Paula had to learn to allow her best friend to make her mistakes, even if she was hurt to see her change. She had to focus on herself, something that she ignored, making Jojo the center of her universe. “For Jojo” deals with the difficult feeling of having to let go of someone even if one believes it is not for the right reasons.
“For Jojo” is a 2022 Drama Romance film directed by Barbara Ott.